Firstly, I don’t really know what annotated means so don’t ask or point out if its wrong, it lends credibility.
Secondly: Given the debacle that was the UETFA World Cup (I still can’t believe they built that stadium in the middle of nowhere) and the fallout that followed, it seemed Time And Fruit was done. Finished. Tossed aside like a made-up internet thing who’s creator simply lost interest because he found a series of comics he hadn’t read. Anyway, thats all in the past and with Sky announcing a new TV deal for the 2015 summer season, now seems as good a time as any to re-introduce Time And Fruit as the true sport of kings (Literally: George V ruddy loved it)
To this end, I was given free rein in the Westminster UETFA archives and the rich tapestry therein…
‘Those familiar with the founding father of Time And Fruit will undoubtedly already be aware of Sir Alf Wattlendaub’s now legendary inaugural games of 1910; what you may not know is that this was a direct response to the growing threat of World War and was subliminally pushing the idea of rationing (hence the ‘5-a-day’ rule)* With Sir Alf being the games clear winner (his nickname of ‘Apple Alf’ being a wry nod to his now patented ‘2.36, Apple’ move…hard now to imagine the effect that had on the game), this huge crowd favourite and league champion’s (1910-1918) lasting legacy was his abolition of the class system within the sport. Indeed, his first act as Lord Chief Warden of Fruit was to dismantle the strict ‘Old Boys’ network and open the game up to the lower classes (Up until 1912, East London was rife with illegal fruit-dens where the working man could gamble his meagre weekly wage but always under the threat of the rope if caught). It was not a popular move amongst the aristocracy and the 1920s were a mire of infighting and backstabbing as a once great sport that had united a nation started to alienate even its most staunch defenders: “When has fruit ever been worth this?” they could have possibly cried.’
Its around here that the archives get a little hazy on detail – a lot of the late 30s/40s is still filed as MoD classified documents and it would be wrong to speculate. The next extract is only included because of its relation to globalisation and how much wealthy billionaires invested in ‘mankind’s future’ whilst really playing Time And Fruit.
‘Known to only those in the inner circle of UETFA, the Boeing 747 was initially commissioned by Sir Quentin Yacht-Smythe to produce a plane large enough to carry rare and exotic fruit from all over the globe (originally there was only going to be one and it would land at his house; a sprawling country estate where the main house was constructed out of Guava halves) in a bid to re-ignite interest in the sport after the drab war years. The effect was immediate, leading UETFA to amend the fruit allowance records for the first time in their history** as the sudden insurgence of multiple fruits made the 5-a-day rule seem badly outmoded, and the public went wild – some people suggest the ‘swinging sixties’ and the resultant London scene, often attributed to no-hopers like The Beatles, was actually caused by this fruit liberation. The plane was eventually put into mass production (UETFA went the Alec Guiness/Star Wars royalty route. Inspired) and apparently flies people to holiday destinations all around the world’
* This was originally sold as a decision based on lack of telecommunications; carrier pigeons were used to send pencil drawings of “outlandish” fruits (Kiwi, Mango etc) where visual evidence was needed. All pictures were stored in the Archives until 1914 when the distraction of war allowed Hans Gruber to access said pictures and steal them. This lead to the withdrawal of the governing body from the sports frontlines, with no existing player allowed entrance to the hallowed halls. Gruber was never caught due to diplomatic immunity. Was eventually killed by John McClane.
** The 5-a-day rule was re-introduced with the sport becoming more professional in the late 70s.
For further reading:
Sir Alf Wattlendaub ‘Apples and Pears don’t mean Stairs’ (Penguin books, 1948)
Sir Quentin Yacht-Smythe ‘I was the original Bruce Wayne’ (Quentin’s Books, 1972)
Mickey Rolls ‘From Street Urchin to Gold medal: a barrow boy’s story’ (Picador, 1966)
Tom McGhee ‘Please send help’ (Macbook, 2015)